Is chronic fatigue syndrome physiological or psychological? The medical world remains divided – leaving millions unsure about the efficacy of the treatment they receive

The point at which I realised just how confounding some illnesses – and the human beings that suffer them – are was when, three years into a mysterious illness, someone told me that I could beat it by eating a clove of garlic each morning.

This person – not a medical professional, it is perhaps unnecessary to point out – swore by its efficacy. By this stage, I had tried all sorts of things to get better – yoga, meditation, kinesiology, hypnotherapy – none of which had worked. So I took the garlic suggestion with the pinch of salt it deserved and resumed my search for a cure elsewhere. Correspondingly, I began to sympathise with poor doctors. No wonder they have such a hard time treating people like me.

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